WhatsApp had introduced its first payment service in Brazil earlier this weekbut later the company had to withdraw it. Now the company claims that Brazil’s central bank had said it intended to find a way to restore the payments service in the country by working with Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc.
In a statement, Head of WhatsApp Will Cathcart said, “The central bank made clear that they support platforms like WhatsApp that are innovating in digital payments.”
The WhatsApp payment was suspended by Brazil’s central bank and antitrust watchdog as they realized the potential damage in the areas of competition, efficiency and data privacy. Regulators also blocked WhatsApp partnerships with Visa, Mastercard and Cielo SA.
Brazil’s antitrust watchdog Cade is investigating if the terms of the partnership with Cielo, the only card acquirer, in a deal with WhatsApp could favour it in terms of exclusivity.
According to the watchdog, WhatsApp could increase Cielo’s card transactions by 10%, even in a conservative scenario and Cielo is already the country’s biggest acquirer with a 41% market share.
WhatsApp continued to show its willingness to get back in business by allowing more players to join its Payments platform. Whatsapp reinforced in the statement its plans to open the service via central bank payments platform PIX.
WhatsApp’s biggest market India was the first contender in line to get the payments functionality on the instant messaging platform. However, the company couldn’t streamline the process despite a relatively long trial period. Brazil is the second biggest market for WhatsApp with around 120 million users.
With Inputs from Reuters